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The State of Telemetry in Cloud Networking

Jayshree Ullal
by Jayshree Ullal on Aug 23, 2016 3:01:51 AM
The hype of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and its associated analytics is alive and well. Many are advocating changing the way monitoring is done.  Are we ready for re-invention? How should one react? Or should we plan better? What happens to decades of network management that are habitual? Legacy vendors understandably feel defensive, declaring new marketing visions and paradigms, while new and innovative vendors are delivering real functionality that meets customer needs! At Arista, we saw the emergence of a need for better visibility and monitoring in 2010, with exponential growth of workloads in the cloud to bring together many forms of telemetry. We have been deploying Arista Tracers with EOS® for over five years, and now we are entering the next generation of real-time telemetry.

Don’t Run Blind – Think Real-Time

To really appreciate Arista’s vision for telemetry, let us first step back and understand the perils of current networking. Networking is running blind. It is akin to driving a car in the fog, or down a dark road without headlights, marked lanes, street lights, signs or a navigation system. Simply put, it’s a scary visibility problem. A holistic, real-time and analytical suite of visibility and monitoring tools with open interfaces is a mandate from customers.

Legacy implementations have relied on SNMP agents as reactive polling methods (due to their inefficient nature) for too long. The industry is hungry for a repository platform for real-time telemetry that has uncompromised analytics and enables proactive operation. When coupled with the massive shift to virtualization, containerization, cloud-native applications and unstructured data, the demand for useful telemetry data is growing exponentially.

Tracers “State” of the Art Streaming

For over five years, Arista has delivered multi-dimensional Tracers to holistically diagnose different problems, as shown in Figure 1 below.

JU_BLOG_Telemetry

Figure 1: Arista Tracers trigger Workloads, capture Workflows and now holistically bring new real time Streaming for classification, replication and visibility.

Every network architect is looking for modern analytical methods to efficiently and consistently gain visibility into millions of devices, data and events. Arista’s state driven network infrastructure built on Arista EOS with NetDB (Network Database) delivers a network wide repository to coordinate many types of actions, leveraging open standards such as the ability to capture, stream, store, classify and view actions. EOS streams the state of every network event, on every device, instantaneously, in order to provide granular mechanisms for real-time visibility into thousands of devices in a cloud network. The Arista Telemetry Tracers leverage open source solutions such as HBase and standards such as OpenConfig.

The Next Frontier:

The dictionary definition of Telemetry is an automated communications process by which measurements and other data are collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring. The word is derived from Greek roots: tele = remote, and metron = measure.

This coordination of the state of the network combined with precise packet classification is a paramount step for advanced telemetry. It highlights the power of Arista Extensible OS (EOS) for programmable state driven telemetry. Backed by thousands of man-years of development and more than 10 million lines of code, EOS delivers granular isolation between state, control, management and data planes, making it the only and ideal stack for open telemetry. Together with our technology partners and proactive suite of network visibility Tracers for our customers, welcome to the new world of software defined telemetry networking. Some talk vision. We deliver reality now!

As always I welcome your comments at feedback@arista.com

Website References:

Press Release

Video

Telemetry Tracer White Paper

Arista CloudVision® White Paper

Opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of Arista Networks. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Arista Networks or any other party.
Jayshree Ullal
Written by Jayshree Ullal
As President and CEO of Arista for a decade, Jayshree Ullal is responsible for Arista’s business and thought leadership in cloud networking. She led the company to a historic and successful IPO in June 2014 from zero to a multibillion dollar business. Formerly Jayshree was Senior Vice President at Cisco, responsible for a $10B business in datacenter, switching and services. With more than 30 years of networking experience, she is the recipient of numerous awards including E&Y’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2015 and Barron’s “World’s Best CEOs” in 2018.

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